With the current wellness craze turning into what is looking like a permanent lifestyle priority, a healthier lifestyle & Fitness have become an essential component of today’s Hotel guest’s experience.
Is this a Revolution, a Revelation or could it also be just a smart business solution is what comes to my mind…
To my dismay the term ‘’gym‘’ is still often used by many a Hotel in Romania and abroad which is often at best an exaggeration in itself.
A room with one Treadmill and a sauna in space that was originally built for storage. Rooms with no natural light, in the basement as far away as one could imagine. An extra room converted at a later stage into what many Hotels are promoting as a Fitness & Spa area, which for the guest may as well be nonexistent.
We have all stayed at that one hotel we searched on the internet which promoted a wellness center, with a gallery of beautiful people lounging around the sauna laughing and drinking cocktails, couples running side by side on treadmills overlooking the green garden…. only to realize when we arrive the photos were from an internet site with free download pictures. Wellness is not just a feeling but a service which every Hotel should consider offering its guests.
The good news is that in fact many Hotels are rolling out healthy programs because they’re taking note of the changes we are seeing as consumers are more health conscience. Most noteworthy however, is that some studies have shown the fact that wellness tourists are willing to pay a premium price to Hotels which offer a Wellness concept as an amenity. So the trend is good for guests, and good for business. These moves also towards healthier food and sleep, more engaging and deeper fitness practices, and overall care for a guest’s health are news for the hospitality industry. We must realize that consumers are more health conscious than ever before, and the hospitality offering needs to reflect this.
More than ever, travelers want to stay in a property that not only leaves them rested, but feeling restored and reinvigorated. An all too common occurrence now is people are no longer just stressed out, they have taken the leap to the next level and are burned out.
If trends are to continue, I believe that an increasing number of hotels will undergo a wellness rebranding. This will involve reconsidering room design and the addition of wellness features not only in the development of a Fitness & spa area, but throughout the entire property. Changes such as these are for some beyond comprehension, many will not have the space nor the budget. Nevertheless, there are ways and means around this. More and more emphasis can be placed on the execution of standards and utilizing spaces which could possibly be converted into a wellness space. For many investors funding has become much more accessible with programs designed for this segment, so no more excuses should be made.
For those who have had a ‘’revelation & seen the future’’ they understand all too well, the future is now Wellness. Providing their guests a space to invigorate the body & the mind is Wellness, allowing the body to release endorphins giving the mind that feeling of pleasure we call the ‘’Wellness experience’’. How something so simple can be so complicated is the big question always on my mind. Who does not want to feel well, when we stay at a hotel we go to be comfortable searching for our ‘’home away from home’’, whether we are traveling on business or for pleasure, creating a place of comfort and a feeling of wellbeing should always be on the mind of a Hotel manager or the owner. Providing the guest all the amenities & keeping up with the expectations of the guest is what will set the property apart from the competition..
……OR Just a Smart business solution?
The addition of a Wellness/Fitness area into Hotels has had a dramatic effect on the revenues associated with this added amenity. Gone are the days when Hotels were interpreting a Fitness & Spa area as a money losing venture. The Hotels of tomorrow have now understood in fact Wellness is just as important to your patrons as Wi-Fi and a good night’s sleep, taking advantage of the many who have not seen the light and capitalizing on the financial benefits of increased room occupancy and added revenue streams.
Success is not as far away as many may have thought, as we have seen some great achievements here at home.
One such success story can be seen on the north side of the capitol city of Bucharest, where I have seen firsthand the amazing results achieved by a group dedicated to offering their guests and local residents a place one could call a true Wellness space. A spectacular indoor pool & wet areas along with a meticulously designed Fitness area overlooking a lush garden, not just in pictures but in reality. This wonderful space flanked by the two tower hotel is a site one can truly appreciate as a wellness space.
With an increase of occupancy by over 20% after implementation, the numbers speak for themselves and one would have a hard time arguing the downside to such an investment.
A little further to the north of the country in the mountainous city of Brasov, more success with an investor who saw a void and filled it, by adding what has become the premier Wellness/Fitness & Spa center. Bustling with guests, in this wonderful city, the Hotel has given a new meaning to the word wellness and left the competition in the dust. While visiting recently this amazing property I stopped and took a good look around & I thought to myself, this Hotel has now set the new standard. I am confident their great success is envied by many local properties, so it is only a matter of time we will see some further development by other investors who can understand the financial benefits.
I had the great pleasure to personally work on both of these projects with the management teams, who trusted me as an advisor, took a leap of faith to be one of the first to ‘’revolt’’ & will now testify that this truly was a smart business decision. I admire the courage of those who I call ‘’the leaders’’ leaving the followers wondering what went wrong..
Change is hard for many, investors need to be looking out for the best opportunities to get ahead of the competition….. WELLNESS is the future, and for those who embrace this change, wellness will not only make your guests happy, it will bring wellness to your bottom line and that is just really a smart business solution!